Ukip’s deputy chairman Suzanne Evans has announced she is seeking the party’s nomination for the 2016 London Mayor election. Speaking to Iain Dale on LBC this morning, Evans said from the off she is very unlikely to become Mayor, but that she hopes to influence the race and offer Londoners a difference:
‘I have thrown my hat into the ring to apply to be Ukip candidate for Mayor of London and or an London assembly member. Let’s be realistic, I don’t think London is going to have a Ukip mayor any time soon.
‘But I think it’s time for London to have a different view, a different approach. I think there are a growing amount of people in London who want to see things from a Ukip perspective.’
Given Evans’ role in the Ukip briefing wars following the general election, does she have the support of Nigel Farage in her candidacy? She denied there are any hard feelings between the pair:
‘Yes, of course. I usually have the support of Nigel Farage. There was a lot of nonsense talked about over the General Election. A lot of rumours flying around that simply weren’t true.’
So far, two other candidates have also applied for the candidacy: Ukip’s culture spokesman Peter Whittle and Richard Hendron, a Ukip LGBT activist. Given Evans’ frequent media appearances representing the party, she is easily the most likely to bag the nomination.
Even the party is not entirely sure of the process for choosing its candidate. Coffee House understands that interviews are taking place over the next few weeks and it appears Ukip HQ will be vetting the candidates. As with the 2012 election, the interviews will be followed by a vote held amongst the party’s London membership.
This piece has been updated